HomeSportCristiano Ronaldo escapes red for tackle on Martin Dubravka who 'closed his...

Cristiano Ronaldo escapes red for tackle on Martin Dubravka who ‘closed his eyes and prayed’ his face avoided studs


Cristiano Ronaldo probably counted himself lucky that he was not sent off when his studs scraped goalkeeper Martin Dubravka’s face.

The forward was playing for Portugal against Slovakia in a Euro qualifier and was desperate for a goal to add to his 123 international strikes.

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Ronaldo left Dubravka clutching his face following a clash while on Portugal dutyCredit: Getty

And his eagerness to score had Newcastle goalkeeper Dubravka praying for the best outcome.

Chasing his touch and with the ball making its way into Dubravka’s arms, Ronaldo lunged at the ball with his studs showing.

But he completely missed the target, instead raking his boot down the keeper’s face.

The 38-year-old immediately looked sheepish while the fans inside the Tehelne Pole bayed for a red card.

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However, referee Glenn Nyberg failed to oblige and only brandished a yellow – leaving players and fans stunned alike.

Paris Saint-Germain star Milan Skrinier was incensed and straight away raced toward Ronaldo to stick up for his teammate, who was cradling his face.

The former Manchester United star looked apologetic and tried to insist he went for the ball.

But he might consider himself extremely fortunate to stay on the pitch, especially at a crucial time.

The Al Nassr star fluffed his lines as Dubravka rushed out

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The Al Nassr star fluffed his lines as Dubravka rushed outCredit: Getty
Ronaldo was only booked for the incident as his studs caught the Newcastle stopper's face

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Ronaldo was only booked for the incident as his studs caught the Newcastle stopper’s faceCredit: Getty

Asked where it hurt, Dubrakva said after the game: “In the shoulder, the neck and the chest.

“I just closed my eyes and prayed that [Ronaldo] wouldn’t hit me in the face as well. When I saw his studs coming at me, I didn’t even look.”

He doesn’t place any blame at the forward, however.

“It’s sport, it’s football. Situations like this belong to it.

“Of course, he realised he hit me. He asked me if I was OK. I take it sportingly. I try to keep a clear head in these situations. It is a contact sport. Today, when we have VAR at our disposal. There is no point in getting into it.”

Bruno Fernandes had put Portugal a goal up earlier in the game and that proved to be the winner, though with 10 men, the match might have turned out differently.

Portugal, though, went on to survive and maintain their perfect start to the qualifying phase with five wins out of five.

There is a strong chance that will be six, too, by Monday night when they face Luxembourg at home.

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Ronaldo is already the Selecao’s highest-ever goalscorer but will miss the chance to play, having now been suspended via his yellow card on Friday night.

Otherwise, he would have been licking his lips ahead of the chance to add to his 123-goal tally against a country he has scored 11 times against.

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